Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.
Chowhounds tired of the same old noodle shops in Orange County are suddenly buzzing about relative newcomer Ramen Zetton in Costa Mesa. Pork shio ramen with thick, chewy noodles (pictured) is really good, while the complex tsukemen with pan-seared chashu and killer dipping broth has made this place one local 'hound's new go-to.
Photo from Ramen Zetton / Facebook
South Brooklyn has plenty of French restaurants but little really good French food, so Chowhounds cheered the arrival of Pompette earlier this year in Carroll Gardens. Go for bistro standards such as mussels, cassoulet, and terrines and other house-made charcuterie; drinks like the signature Pompette (sparkling wine, rose syrup, crushed peppercorn); and a table in the inviting back garden (pictured). READ MORE
Whirling blade–style coffee grinders are cheap and useful for lots of things besides grinding coffee—such as grinding spices. But since you can't immerse an electric grinder in water, how do you get it clean?
The answer is to grind something in the grinder that will absorb the oils and odors without adding any of its own. Chowhound escondido123 uses a piece of bread, as demonstrated in this CHOW Tip. Meanwhile, chileheadmike runs kosher salt through the grinder, and scubadoo97 uses uncooked instant white rice—but make sure it's instant (parboiled) rice, not regular rice, or it might break your grinder, chefj says. Sugar also works well to absorb oils and odors, whether from coffee or other spices, ellabee says. READ MORE
At two-month-old MP Taverna, TV chef Michael Psilakis has brought an updated spin on Greek cooking to New York's Greek heartland of Astoria, Queens.
Expect homey fare like his knockout Grandma's Greek Meatballs and spicy pork sausage alongside surprises like a refreshing, fruit- and nut-studded bulgur salad (pictured) and a take on paella made with orzo and a ton of shellfish, Chowhounds report. MP Taverna, which joins sister restaurants in Westchester and Long Island, also offers a bar scene—with bar-friendly bites like gyro sliders.
Photo from Michael Psilakis / Facebook
It’s good to have a tried-and-true date-night spot, but there's nothing like novelty to shake things up a little. One Chowhound gives the nod to Fable in the Castro, which feels fancy enough to impress but is affordable enough to treat your date.
Photo from Fable
Kitchen tongs are mission-critical tools for moving hot pans, deftly adjusting large food items, and even cooking food directly on the fire, from campfire cheese to roasted garlic. What kind of tongs are the best? READ MORE
Several Vietnamese-Cajun crawfish-boil restaurants have popped up around the Bay over the last 10 years. Which ones are actually good?
Photo from Cajun House
The Chronicle's Michael Bauer is the big dog of San Francisco food critics, but does the star system he uses for ratings make sense? Is there a better way to rank restaurants? Chowhounds debate the question.
Image from sfgate.com
Whether it's for projects like Bolognese ragu or quick meals like tacos, browning ground beef is a critical first step. So what pan should you use for the job?
No matter what the final product will be, there's one choice that Chowhounds eliminate for browning ground beef: nonstick pans. DuffyH has tried it, and spent the whole time chasing the meat around on the too-slippery surface while trying to break up the beef. READ MORE
Who makes the Bay Area’s best pies? Little-known Vive La Tarte is getting Chowhounds talking for its interesting savory pies, including Belgian "Cuckoo-Style" Chicken, made with wheat beer, endive, and free-range bird.
Photo from Vive la Tarte